I love a good ghost story. There's something about exploring the unknown or unexplained that appeals to me. It's intriguing to wonder about things and it can be lots of fun.
In the new supernatural novel, The Silent Children by debut novelist Amna K. Boheim, readers are given an absorbing tale with loads of atmosphere. The Silent Children tells parallel stories -- one set in 1938 Vienna and the other in 2004 London. The side by side stories tie together the experiences of Max in modern times with that of his mother Annabel during her childhood in Vienna.
Max and his mother are estranged. One day he receives a letter from his mother that informs him that she is dying and that she needs his help. In her letter, she has enclosed an old black and white photograph of herself and her childhood friend Oskar Edelstein with the words 'you knew' written on the back of the photo. The letter and photograph catch Max off guard to say the least and he is intrigued. Annabel wants Max to find Oskar. The photograph and the mysteries behind it set Max off on a journey to get to the truth behind the photograph. He uncovers secrets about his mother's long-buried past throughout this modern ghost story.
I found this novel to be a definite page turner with a haunting vibe that I relished. The flashbacks to 1938 Vienna, to me were like a whisper from the past to Max in contemporary times. They were a guiding force that the reader had access to even though Max did not. I thought that this was a great way to build anticipation as we get to follow Max on his journey.
As one who loves a good ghost story, I especially liked the times when Max was in his mother's house. There is something that is not quite right in the house and it was interesting to wonder what might be lurking around each corner. I found myself looking over my shoulder when I read at night. I loved it! The thing that definitely kept me reading was the desire to find out what secrets Max would uncover. The author did an excellent job of giving readers little pieces of the puzzle on the way to a great conclusion.
The Silent Children is an intriguing ghost story to the end. I really liked it. This story is a perfect one for curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea or to enjoy with only the light of your bedside table illuminating the pages. This is a good read!
The Silent Children is available here or on Amazon UK.
*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.